Why marriage is harder, but better than ever!
Who is living out the example of an 'ideal' marriage in your mind? Perhaps you are thinking of Will and Kate, Barak and Michelle, or even George and Amal. Put these to the side for a moment and let me suggest a different marriage, that between Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu and her American husband Shane Tusup.
Never heard of them? That is fine, most haven't. Up until 2012, Hosszu was a talented but unremarkable swimmer. After the London Olympics, where she entered 4 races and won no medals, she looked to her boyfriend at the time to take over as her coach. The resilient Tusup worked Hosszu harder, pushing her to swim faster, lift extra, and enter more races. Often, Tusup can be seen getting angry poolside at meets if she did not win.
"We agreed that the goal was never to settle for O.K.," Tusup said about their relationship, "We're going to keep pushing, even when we don't get it, to be great, to be amazing, to be legendary."
In the most recent Olympic games, Hosszu entered five events, ultimately winning four medals, three of them gold. Now considered the Iron Lady, Hosszu went on to be the first swimmer to reach $1 million in race winnings. An achievement she points back to that decision she made with her then boyfriend, Tusup.
Though the Hosszu-Tusup relationship is an extreme rendition, it serves as an example of what people today expect from marriage according to Northwestern University professor Eli Finkel. In his book, All-or-Nothing Marriage, Finkel argues that 21st century spouses seek partners who will bring out their best, most authentic selves, who can spot potential in their mates and find, Michelangelo-like, the beautiful sculpture within the block of stone.
This does not mean that today's spouse is exonerated from the conjugal responsibilities of tradition. We still want security. We still want a passionate lover. We still want higher-order parenting skills. Those all come standard. "We continue to view our marriage as a central locus of love and passion and we continue to view our home as a haven in a heartless world, but....a marriage that achieves those things without also promoting self-expression is insufficient," writes Finkel. - adapted from article in TIME magazine written by Belinda Luscombe
The relationship between Katinka Hosszu and Shane Tusup reminds us that we should be one of the leading forces of our spouse's success. Not that we should be receiving the glory, or that they are incapable of being successful without our presence, but that unselfishly we are willing to encourage our spouse to be the best 'them' that they can be. I believe this is the biblical example of marriage. We should love our spouse unconditionally and humbly just as Christ loves us. You will find that the more you love your spouse and inspire them to greatness, the more you will understand and appreciate Christ's love for you.
Who wouldn't want this kind of love?